Six towns and cities shortlisted to be home of Great British Railways

An Avanti West Coast train at Crewe Station Credit: PA Images

Six English towns and cities have been shortlisted to host the headquarters of Great British Railways (GBR).

The Department for Transport (DfT) has announced Crewe, Birmingham, Derby, Doncaster, Newcastle-upon-Tyne and York are all in the running after 42 locations entered bids to host.

GBR will be a new public sector body that will oversee Britain’s railways and is expected to simplify the rail network and improve services for passengers.

An online consultation will help decide what location will host GBR. Credit: PA images

Applications were measured against six key criteria, which were: alignment to levelling up objectives, connected and easy to get to, opportunities for GBR, railway heritage and links to the network, value for money and public support.

An online public vote on the six shortlisted locations for its headquarters has been opened.

Conservative MP for Crewe and Nantwich, Dr Kieran Mullen, believes GBR can add to Crewe's prosperity.

DfT say the results of the vote will “play a crucial role” but the final decision will be made by Transport Secretary Grant Shapps.

GBR will issue passenger service contracts to private companies to run trains.

Mr Shapps said: “Our world-leading railways have served this country well for 200 years and this is a huge step in the reforms, which will shape our network for the next 200.

“Great British Railways will create a truly sustainable, modern and fair railway network for passengers and freight customers.

“I’m calling on people across the country to play a key part in this once-in-a-generation reform and vote for the new home of our railways."

The “central headquarters” will provide strategic direction for the running of GBR, and bring “highly skilled jobs to the area”, DfT said, with “regional headquarters across the country”.

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